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Milena Petrova

Milena Petrova

Associate Professor of Finance

Room: 120F
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PhD, University of Florida (Finance)
Other, Helsinki University of Technology (Industrial Management)

Dr. Petrova is a tenured Associate Professor at the Department of Finance of Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University and serves as an Academic Director of the Real Estate Programs at Whitman. She also teaches International Corporate Finance in the masters in finance program at Bocconi University, Milan, Italy. Dr. Petrova further conducts research in the areas of corporate financing strategy and restructuring, corporate governance, commercial real estate valuation, real estate asset pricing, and portfolio management. She has written several book chapters and published over 30 articles in leading international journals including the Journal of Banking and Finance, Financial Management, European Financial Management, Journal of International Money and Finance, Real Estate Economics, and Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, among others. Dr. Petrova has won multiple awards and grants for her research and teaching and presented her research at over 120 international conferences.

Besides being an active researcher, Dr. Petrova is a well-recognized expert in corporate finance and real estate with over 20 years of experience in the field. She has consulted for investment professionals in the USA, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Dr. Petrova has advised on the development, acquisition, and disposition of commercial real estate (hotel, office, industrial, residential and mixed-use), M&As – valuation, post-merger integration, and exit opportunities; corporate restructuring; and business plan evaluation. She has also served as an advisor in setting up REITs and the use of tax-deferred exchanges.

Previously, Dr. Petrova worked in management consulting (Booz Allen Hamilton) and project finance (Finnvera). Prof. Petrova has a Ph.D. in finance from the University of Florida, USA; master’s degrees in finance and business administration from Hofstra University, USA, and Helsinki School of Economics, Finland; and post-graduate certificates in industrial management from Helsinki University of Technology, Finland, Fintech from Oxford University, the UK and Applied Machine Learning from Columbia University, USA.

Research Topics

  • Commercial real estate pricing
  • REITs
  • Real estate markets and strategy
  • Corporate restructuring and corporate governance

Dr. Petrova currently teaches Real Estate Modeling, Real Estate Finance and Investments, Real Estate Principles, and Financial Management at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Prof. Petrova has taught the following classes at Syracuse University:

FIN 960 Seminar in Finance (PhD Course)
FIN 855 Theory of Finance (PhD/MSF Course)
MBC 633 Managerial Finance (Graduate Course)
FIN 455 Financial Management (Undergraduate Course)
RES 662 Real Estate Finance & Investments (Graduate Course)
RES 631 Real Estate Principles (Graduate Course)
RES 362 Real Estate Finance & Investments (Undergraduate Course)
RES 332 Real Estate Principles (Undergraduate Course)
RES 400 Real Estate Modeling (Undergraduate Course)
Excel Real Estate Modeling (2-day Workshop)
Argus Valuation (2-day Workshop)

Professor Petrova's primary research interests are in the areas of commercial real estate pricing, real estate operations, REITs, real estate capital markets, corporate finance and corporate restructuring.

Selected Publications

Awards and Honors

  • Ranked #8 among the most productive authors in real estate
  • One University Assessment Award - Syracuse University
  • Whitman Teaching Fellow - Syracuse University
  • Real Estate Research Consortium Grant 2020 - The Real Estate Research Consortium
  • Best Paper in Corporate Finance (Nomination) - European Financial Management Association
  • Real Estate Roundtable Grant 2014-2015 - Real Estate Round Table
  • Best Paper Award for “Why do Managers Divest Corporate Assets? Insights from Equity Carve-outs - , International Business Finance Conference, ICFAI Business School
  • Real Estate Research Institute Research Grant for “Information, Search and Anchoring in Commercial Real Estate" - Real Estate Research Institute
  • Real Estate Research Institute Research Grant for “The Impact of Capital Expenditures on Property and Portfolio Performance of Commercial Real Estate" - Real Estate Research Institute
  • American Real Estate Society Best Research Paper for “Heterogeneous Investors, Negotiation Strength & Asset Prices in Private Markets: Evidence from Commercial Real Estate - CoStar Group
  • Nominated by the Dean of Whitman School of Management and the Department of Finance for receiving Syracuse University’s Teaching Recognition Award
  • Nominated for Best Paper Award in Investments for “Heterogeneous Investors, Negotiation Strength, & Asset Prices in Private Markets: Evidence from Commercial Real Estate - Financial Management Association
  • Recipient of the Oberwager Award for Outstanding Faculty
  • Real Estate Research Institute Research Grant for “Why Do REITs Go Private? Differences in Target Characteristics, Acquirer Motivations, and Wealth Effects in Public and Private Acquisitions" - Real Estate Research Institute
  • CoStar Best Paper Award for Use of Commercial Real Estate Data
  • ARES Doctoral Seminar Travel Award - ARES
  • AREUEA Doctoral Session Travel Award - AREUEA
  • Real Estate Research Institute Annual Conference Travel Grant - Real Estate Research Institute
  • Gerald R. Brown Award for Best Paper on Real Estate and Finance - Department of Real Estate, National University of Singapore

Media Placements


1031 Exchange and the Tax Reform Bill - What it could mean to investors , New England Real Estate Journal 9.24.21

Capping 1031 exchanges would cripple Wisconsin farmers and CRE economy , BizTimes 8.12.21

Capping 1031 exchanges is a recipe for stagnation, not recovery , New Orleans City Business 8.2.21

Investors Fret as Biden Takes Aim at a 100-Year-Old Tax Loophole , New York Times 6.8.21

Like-Kind Exchanges, Property Development and Improvement , EisnerAmper 5.11.21

Section 1031 Helps Many and Is No Loophole , Wall Street Journal 5.10.21

Whitman Research Magazine , Whitman School of Management 4.1.21

Biden Targets $41 Billion Tax Break for Rich Real Estate Investors , Bloomberg 4.28.21

The Political Path to Repeal the 1031 Exchange , 3.15.21

THE BENEFITS AND COSTS OF 1031 EXCHANGES , Warrington College of Business 3.1.21

Valuable Real Estate Tax Benefit Should Escape The Chopping Block, But For How Long? , Bezinga 1.18.21

Our Digital Lives Drive a Brick-and-Mortar Boom in Data Centers , NY Times 12.22.20

ADISA Co-Sponsored Academic Study Shows Real Estate Reliance on IRC Section 1031 , ADISA 9.16.20

Top Data Center REITs , Motley Fool 11.6.19

Destiny USA adds more entertainment attractions to make up for retail market decline , WRVO 8.7.19

Inside Destiny USA’s mortgage emergency: Crisis or hardball bargaining? , 4.19.19

Inside Destiny USA’s mortgage emergency: Crisis or hardball bargaining? , 4.19.19

WSJ Report: Destiny USA expected to default on mortgage in June , CNYCentral 4.16.19

Why Data-Center REITs Are Promising And Risky , U.S. News & World Report 2.25.19

Can Outlet Centers Continue to Succeed by Luring Shoppers with Bargains and ‘Experience?’ , National Real Estate Investor 9.13.18

8 REIT Categories With the Wind at Their Backs , U.S. News & World Report 4.6.18

Study Quantifies Importance Of 1031 Exchanges To Industry, Economy , Bisnow 10.23.17

$8 billion reasons to save key tax deferment from reform ax , The Hill 8.18.17

Congress, Make Tax Reform Take the Long View , The Hill 7.28.17